In April 2020, Northspan conducted a study to determine the feasibility of a new facility that will provide customizable manufacturing space for up to three tenants in Cohasset, Minnesota. The project received grant funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) this February.
A $3.4 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant will go toward the construction of a 25,000-square-foot facility to house manufacturing tenants and a business incubator in Cohasset, according to the EDA’s press release.
Cohasset is a city of 2,724 in central Itasca County currently undergoing structural changes in its local economy. Recent and impending job losses at the city’s leading employer, the Boswell Energy Center, prompted local leaders to explore proactive methods of diversifying the local economy, which is largely utilities-centric.
A local company indicated a need for a new 10,000-square-foot combination manufacturing and warehouse facility in the area. County-wide economic development group the Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) also expressed interest in developing an industrial incubator space to give local manufacturers the opportunity to scale up their operations in an affordable, up-to-date facility.
Together with the City of Cohasset, plus coordination with regional partners to get the project off the ground, Northspan explored the market for and financial feasibility of the proposed spec building. The analysis found a stable economy that could benefit from further growth in its manufacturing sector to diversify a currently utility-dominated economy. Both the regional deal flow and a lack of suitable existing industrial buildings supported the case for constructing the new building. The report also found that the building could comfortably cash flow in all its first ten years of operation, and recommended Cohasset Industrial Park as the ideal host for the new spec building.
The grant, to be matched with $847,000 in local investment, is expected to create or retain nearly 100 jobs and generate $900,000 in private investment.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome of this project, which we expect will help to diversify the local economy and support entrepreneurial activity in Cohasset,” said Northspan Research Director and Consultant Karl Schuettler.
You can read more about the Cohasset case study here.